I’m inspired by lots of things. 



Folk art. 

But nothing gets my creative juices flowing quite like music.  I can still remember the rush I felt when I purchased my first three albums.  Looking back now, those selections were a pretty good indication that my taste in music would be eclectic to say the least.


Olivia Newton John’s PHYSICAL

John Cougar Mellancamp’s HURTS SO GOOD

Michael Jackson THRILLER


They were the first three records that were my very own, and I played them until the vinyl was almost worn out.  Those scratched albums still sounded better than the recordings I made of other favorite songs straight off of the radio.  (Anyone else remember having to wait with your fingers poised over the play/record buttons for Styx MR. ROBOTO or Journey’s FAITHFULLY to come back on the radio?)


I digress.


People ask me all the time what inspires my writing and the answer is, in large part, music.  When I’m writing on an airplane, which I often do as a distraction from my fear of flying, I always have music cranking in my earbuds.  When I’m sitting in my screened in porch, which is another favorite spot to write, the music is usually a little more subdued, more in line with the tranquility of that particular writing spot. 


Last fall, during one of my first author talks at a local bookstore, my friend Erin asked an interesting question.  She wondered if there were particular songs that were inspirational during the writing of Walland.  The answer is a resounding yes, and since then, I’ve wanted to sit down and comprise a Walland Playlist for anyone who might be interested, and also as a journal of sorts for myself. 


I mentioned before that my taste in music is all over the place.  If you scroll through my iTunes account, you’ll see Bad Company, The Band Perry, Barenaked Ladies, Beastie Boys and Ben Harper; and that’s just a sampling of the B’s!  (U2 will always be my favorite, for the record.) My tastes are also cyclical.  In college, I listened to a lot of country music, thanks in large part to my West Virginia heritage coupled with my college boyfriend’s love of the genre. 


For Walland, I found myself gravitating back toward country music again, in large part because of the stellar songwriting.  The sad wail of a steel guitar gets me every time, and there is almost nothing I love better than the sound of acoustic music being played.  Walland is a love story, but there are also moments of sadness and reflection that I was able to explore more deeply while listening to certain Bluegrass music. 


If you have time to take a listen, I hope that when you close your eyes, you’ll feel Walland in these songs.  When I hear these songs, I can almost picture myself sitting on the dock next to the Yallerhammer Pavilion, my feet dangling over the surface of the pond, my own reflection staring back up at me from the still water below.


India and Wyatt’s story was born in large part as a result of my immersion in this playlist.   While I was writing the sequel to Walland, I listened to a whole different set of songs, but that’s a blog for another day.   That second book in the Hesse Creek Series, Seeds of Intention, comes out September 5, 2017.



Come a Little Closer                       Dierks Bently

Let Me Touch You For Awhile      Alison Krauss & Union Station

Who I Am With You                       Chris Young

Remember When                           Alan Jackson

Simple Together                             Alanis Morissette

Cowboy Take Me Away                Dixie Chicks

Bring On the Rain                          Jo Dee Messina & Tim McGraw

Airstream Song                              Miranda Lambert

Over You                                          Miranda Lambert

Make You Miss Me                        Sam Hunt

It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To       Billy Currington

Bless the Broken Road                  Rascal Flatts

Drunk on You                                  Luke Bryan

Uncle John's Band                          Grateful Dead

The Lighthouse's Tale                   Nickel Creek

Lose Yourself                                   Eminem